I’m all for spicy/savory meat marinades and when I found recipes for Jamaican jerk chicken I knew I had to give it a try. I found a few good recipes but since I couldn’t find some of the ingredients I had to switch things around a bit. Lots of jerk recipes require scotch bonnet peppers and rum but I had neither. I substituted bonnets for serrano peppers and rum with molasses and I thought those worked out pretty well. The chicken was great; the vinegar in the marinade broke down the protein and made the meat tender. I was surprised that the sauce didn’t caramelize on the chicken since I saw plenty of pictures that showed this. I would guess there wasn’t enough brown sugar and molasses to get that glazed look. It turned out fine though and I ended up not minding that at all.
I thought that a Jamaican rice dish cooked in coconut milk would be a great accompaniment to the spicy Jerk chicken. The coconut milk has a cooling effect to balance out the pepper’s heat. I couldn’t find scotch bonnet peppers so I used a jalapeno instead. I didn’t want the rice too spicy so I thought that worked out well. The rice was creamy and sweet with an afterthought of heat which tasted very good with the chicken and mango salsa.